Thanks so much for this post! It seems to me that there is #somewhereinthisdoctrine a key that unlocks/dispels the myth that God’s ‘sole’ purpose (if we are allowed to refer to blueprints within the evolutionary scenario) is the evolution and the ultimate redemption of the biosphere–and that humankind’s ‘sole’ purpose is function (see Middleton) and not relationship. PS. I have been engaged for rather a long time in the pursuit of a satisfactory defense for the ‘Goodness of God’ in the light of the harms of evolution..PPs. Hope that makes sense. DW
I’ve been reading Hans Boersma’s helpful and interesting book Seeing God: The Beatific Vision in Christian Tradition (Eerdmans 2018). For a while I’ve been wanting to learn more about this intriguing and often neglected doctrine, so now I’m finally getting around to it.
The beatific vision is widespread throughout the early and medieval church, East and West, and into Protestantism (especially the Reformed tradition). Yet many evangelical today have never heard of it, or misunderstand it. As Kyle Strobel puts it, “few doctrines are as ‘standard’ in the history of theology, and ignored in contemporary theology, as the beatific vision.”
So here, drawing from the work of Boersma and a few others like Strobel, I offer some reflections regarding what this doctrine means and entails, in the spirit of rehabilitating it somewhat among those who (like me) have been curious about it.
1) The beatific vision is not done…
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